Canada-Germany and Brazil-Russia will meet in the women's Youth Olympic semifinals
Nanjing, China, August 25, 2014 - Germany and Russia will move on to the semifinals of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games after winning on a rainy Monday night at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.
Both evening quarterfinals went three sets, with Germany winning the first match of the night over the Czech Republic 2-1 (19-21, 21-13, 15-9).
“I cannot believe it,” Germany’s Sarah Schneider said. “I feel speechless.”
After losing the first set, the momentum shifted to Germany’s favor. Germany easily won the second set, and scored the first six points of the third set.
“We played lazy in the first set,” Schneider said. “We got back in the match by playing with more emotion.”
The German win set up a match against Canada in the semifinals on August 26.
“We did not play our best today,” said Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt. “I know we can play better tomorrow.”
In the second match of the evening session, Russia took down Austria 2-1 (17-21, 21-11, 16-14). The match was tied at 14 late in the third set before Russia’s Daria Rudykh scored the winning point on an ace serve.
“That match made me so nervous,” Rudykh said. “We just kept fighting.”
The Russian players huddled midway through the third set and were able to regroup.
“I respect my partner so much,” Russia’s Nadezda Makroquzova said. “She really believed in me, and helped us finish the match.”
Russia’s win means they will play Brazil in an intriguing semifinal match on August 26.
“We will play better, you can be sure of that,” Makroquzova said.
Earlier in the day, in the afternoon session, Brazil won a hard-fought match over South American rivals Argentina, 2-0 (26-24, 21-14), to move on to the semifinals.
“Argentina made this a very tough match,” said Brazil’s Eduardo Santos Lisboa.
Brazil’s Ana Patricia Silva, the tallest women’s player at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games at 6-foot-4 (193 cm), made life difficult for Argentina, recording several key blocks in the second set to inspire the Brazilians.
“We fought as equals, so we are happy,” Argentina’s Irene Varasio. “Nothing went wrong, they were just better than us.”
Lisboa has now won 17 consecutive matches, including the gold medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Porto, Portugal.
“Right now we will rest and focus on our next match,” Ana Patricia said.
In the other quarterfinal of the afternoon session, Canada moved on by defeating their North American rivals, the United States, 2-1 (14-21, 21-18, 15-8).
“This feels amazing,” said Canada’s Megan McNamara. “We did our best to overcome our bad start.”
The Canadian twins, bronze medalists at the FIVB U19 World Championships, kept their composure after losing the first set.
“We were pretty nervous about this match,” said Canada’s Nicole McNamara. “Once we took a timeout, we calmed down and felt better.”
The United States finish the tournament tied for fifth.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Team USA’s Zana Muno. “I hate losing and this stings now, but one day we will look back at being fifth at the Youth Olympics and it will be pretty cool.”